Free! Episode Five


frozen free

Screenshot used for the sole fact that this was where the Crunchyroll player decided to stall out this week.

Its almost as if CR knows what sort of audience this show attracts…


  • so, we finally get our Makoto-centric-ish episode, although a lot of it just confirms what we already pretty much knew about Makoto – he’s the guy who places others first, and he also cares quite a bit about Haruka, as reflected in how he’s happy to see that Haruka is genuinely motivated to swim and has backed off of being gun-shy because of what happened with Rin when they were all younger, and also as demonstrated in smaller moments like him doing something as simple as taking the wrapper off of a popsicle for Haruka
  • of course, we also see that Makoto is just flat-out observant – Nagisa asks Rei if he’s okay, but bounces off after Rei says that he is, while Makoto senses that Rei isn’t okay with how he did during the training and steps in to assure him that his ultimate goal is having everyone be there together to train together, not so much to complete the training each day
  • this all does fall in with my earlier observation that Makoto is basically the childhood friend out of a harem show; the difference here is that its played with a lot more subtlety – we don’t have anything like him making bentos for everyone that then results in lots of squealing, he just quietly does what he can to support the others
  • Haruka also gets some good moments here for us to see that although he’s a fairly introverted weirdo, he cares about Makoto; granted, its not as if its news that Haruka, underneath the oddness and monomania, is a caring individual (see: Rin), but its consistent characterization
  • given the deft hand utilized with the characterization here, its disappointing to see things tossed together so quickly in the final few minutes, and I’ll admit that I started laughing when the weather suddenly turned horrible – it was just so damn predictable, and it was rushed along so suddenly that I had a really hard time taking it in the ultra-serious manner that I think I was meant to
  • I can’t decide how exactly I feel about Rei deciding to do nighttime swimming – on the one hand, Rei is book smart while being fairly lacking in common sense, but on the other hand, well, I find it a little hard to believe that even a guy like that would think it was a fantastic idea to go larking off in the middle of the night into the ocean – its just too stupid!
  • …but, hey, this is the same set of kids who haven’t figured out that Ama-chan-sensei was probably a gravure model when she was in Tokyo, so who knows?
  • in case it isn’t clear, by the way, I did enjoy this episode quite a bit… and even though I mock how DRAMATIC it all got, I pretty much eat junk like that up, so I’m thrilled for next week’s episode LOOKS SUPER INTENSE, BROS
  • every week, without fail, I start to grin gleefully when the OP starts up because then I remember that the title of the song is “Rage on!”, and, well, how the hell would that not make me smile?


  • so, Kou and Ama-chan-sensei are shown briefly in their room at the lodge, and my brain suddenly went, “HEY ship that?”… I am wailing on the inside (ALTHOUGH I KIND OF WANT TO SHIP THEM!?)
  • uh oh, Nagisa doesn’t want to split a tent with Rei! I know he states that he expects that Rei is the sort to grind his teeth, but, bros, I think we all know that this isn’t something that would chase a person away were they actually interested… poor Rei-chan
  • I was going to mention Makoto unwrapping Haruka’s popsicle for him (gee, that sounds a little, err, innuendo-laden), but then it occurred to me that there was potential shipbait for virtually everyone with Makoto this week
  • …however, there was all that stuff of Haruka being concerned for Makoto because of some bad thing that happened in his past! I can certainly fuel a ship off of that sort of thing!
  • ahem, my ships: Makoto x Haruka, Rei x Nagisa, Rin x Nitori, and, erm, well, maybe Kou x Ama-chan-sensei >_>


  • generally speaking, using a decades-old training regimen would be a pretty terrible idea, quite frankly, and this is true of most sports, not just swimming – athletes now are simply in better physical condition than ever before, as reflected in the setting of new world records in sports such as swimming and running, so an old training regimen isn’t going to be of much help
  • on the other hand, if the whole point is to try to build up folks who haven’t been swimming much in the past several years, then, sure, its not the worst idea in the world; however, a regimen of ocean swimming to build people back up is just flat-out bad, as ocean swimming is much, much more dangerous than swimming in a pool due to tides and currents, as well as the potential for weather change (as we saw in this episode)
  • as for the whole “here, use the kickboard!”, would’ve been a better idea to either have Rei alternate between kickboard and pull-buoy (that’s the one that goes between the legs, allowing for the swimmer to focus solely on their stroke), or stick the floaty on him – as I’ve mentioned before, kicking provides little of the forward thrust for a swimmer, so a regimen of pure kicking is going to be much more exhausting than one alternating, and with Rei as a neophyte still it just doesn’t make sense
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2 Responses to Free! Episode Five

  1. Emperor J says:

    I hate to be pedantic here, but your point about training regimes isn’t entirely true. For swimming it is a combination of better conditioning and technology that goes into swimsuits that have contributed to records that have fallen. In running, there are very few records out there that are not suspicious. There are records that are 20+ years old that no current athlete is even approaching with even the most modern training regimen. While doping is cheating obviously, modern training hasn’t caught up to old training plus the best pharmaceuticals available in many cases.

  2. Kiri says:

    Aaaannd I just wanna pop in and say that Makoto totally made Haruka bento in the second episode. Probably that’s the only way Haru would eat anything other than mackerel. :3

    But yes, this episode was great. I was super pleased to get more characterization for…basically everyone. Makoto, mostly, yes, but even things like Nagisa not being able to read more than surface-level feelings is nice. (Nagisa is also totally playing hard to get with Rei, eheheheh…)

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